The early years of a child’s life are a critical time for brain development. A child’s early experiences can have a positive impact on their current development as well as brain connections that will last a lifetime. The evidence is convincingly clear, we know that high-quality early learning programs, which include well-qualified teachers, research-based curriculum and assessments and family engagement are essential to nurturing young bodies and minds.
A child's brain develops so rapidly in their first years, it's almost impossible for us to imagine. By age five, about 90% of our brains are developed. The circuits for key functions such as vision/hearing, language, and higher cognitive function develop most in the first five years of life. The creation of these circuits is affected by a child’s early learning environment. Bad experiences actually chew away at brain connections, while good quality experiences spur healthy development. After age five, the number of new connections slows, making it more difficult to build the necessary cognitive and social skills. Essentially our children’s early experiences will affect their brain development and learning for life.